Allan Kardec

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If you help yourself then Heaven will come to your aid. - Behold the fowls of the air. - Provide not gold in your purse.


1. Ask, and it shall be given you, seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.. for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ash bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ash a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in Heaven give good things to them that ask Him? (Matthew, 7: 7-11).

2. From an earthly point of view the maxim: Seek and ye shall find is the same as that other one: Help yourself and the heavens will come to your aid. This is the base of the Law of Work and consequently the Law of Progress, since progress is the child of work, seeing that this puts into action the force of intelligence. During mankind's infancy he only used his intelligence in seeking food, as a means of protection against the climate, and defending himself from his enemies. However, God has given Man something more than He gave to animals, which is an incessant desire to better himself It is this desire which impells him to seek out the best ways of improving his position in life, which duly leads him to make discoveries, to invent things, and to perfect the sciences because it is science which gives him what he lacks. Through Man's research his intelligence heightens and his morals depurate. The needs of the body give way to those of the Spirit. After material nourishment Man needs spiritual nourishment. This is how he passes from savagery to civilization.

But the amount of progress achieved by each person during a single lifetime is very small indeed, in most cases even imperceptible. How then could humanity progress without pre-existence and the re-existence of the soul? If the souls who daily leave the Earth were never to return, then humanity would be constantly renewing itself with primitive elements, having everything still to do and learn. There would then be no reason why Man should be more advanced today than he was during the first epochs of the world, because at each birth all intellectual work would have to recommence. On the other hand, by returning with the degree of progress realised and acquiring something more each time, the soul then gradually passes from the barbaric state to that of materialistic civilization, and then on to one of moral civilization (See chapter 4, item 17).

3. If God had exempted Man from bodily work his limbs would have withered. If He had exempted him from intellectual work then his Spirit would have remained in a state of infancy, or mere animal instinct. This is why He made work a necessity by saying: Seek and ye shall find; work and ye shall produce. In this way you are the product of your work; you receive the merit of it and a recompense in accordance with what has been done.

4. It is by virtue of this principle that the Spirits do not help in sparing men the work of research by bringing them discoveries and inventions prepared and ready for use, in such a way that they would have nothing to do but accept what was put into their hands, without any inconvenience whatsoever, nor even to bend down and pick it up, nor yet to think about it. If things were like that then the laziest could enrich themselves and the most ignorant could become wise at the cost of no effort, and both would have merits attributed to them for things they had not done. No, the Spirits do not come to exempt Man from the Law of Work, but only to show him the goal to be reached and the pathway that leads there, by saying: walk and you will get there. You will find your path strewn with stones; look upon them and then move them. We will give you the necessary strength if you care to utilize it (See THE MEDIUMS' BOOK, chapter 26, item 291 onwards).

5. From the moral point of view, these words of Jesus signify that if we ask for the light which will show us the way, it will be given; if we ask for strength to resist evil, we shall receive it; if we ask for the assistance of the good Spirits, then they will come to accompany us and, as did the angel of Tobias, they will guide us; if we ask for good counsel it will not be refused; if we knock on His door it will be opened. But we must ask with sincerity, faith, confidence and fervour. We must present ourselves with humility and not with arrogance, or else we will be abandoned to our own strength and the falls taken will be punishment for our pride.

This then is what is meant by the words: Seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened.


6. Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon Earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.' for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat and the body than raiment?

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.. and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. wherefore, if God clothe the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Therefore, take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof (Matthew, 6: 19-21 & 25-34).

7. In a literal translation these words would be a denial of all providence, of all work and consequently of all progress. With this kind of principle Man would be limited to waiting passively. His physical and intellectual strengths would remain inactive. If such were the normal conditions on Earth we would never have left the primitive state, and if this condition became the law today then it would only remain to live in total idleness. This could not have been the thought of Jesus, since this would be a contradiction of what He said on other occasions and also contradict the Laws of Nature. God created Man without clothes or shelter, but He gave him intelligence so as to be able to make them (See chapter 14, item 6 & chapter 25, item 2).

Consequently these words must not be seen as anything more than the poetical allegory of Providence, which never abandons those who put their confidence in her, but wishes that all work in their turn. If Providence does not always come in the form of material help, then it inspires those ideas from which is found the means of getting out of difficulty (See chapter 27, item 8).

God comprehends our necessities and provides for them when needed. Nevertheless, Man is insatiable in his desires and does not always know how to be content with what he has. Possessing what is necessary is not enough for him; he demands that which is superfluous. Then Providence leaves him to himself. Frequently he becomes unhappy through his own fault, and for having paid no attention to the voice which, through the intermediary of his conscience, has given him warning. In these cases the Lord lets him suffer the consequences so that it may serve as a lesson for the future (See chapter 5, item 4).

8. The Earth will produce sufficient to feed all its inhabitants when Man discovers how to administer the benefits which it offers according to the Laws of Justice, Charity and Love for one's neighbour. When fraternity reigns amongst all peoples, as it does amongst the provincials of any country, then the momentary superfluity of the one will overcome the insufficiency of another, and everyone will have what is necessary. Then the rich man will consider himself as one who possesses a great quantity of seeds. If he shares them with others they will produce a thousandfold for himself and for them. However, if he eats all the seeds himself, or wastes them and allows the surplus from what he ate to be lost, then nothing will be produced and he will take nothing out of this for others. If he hoards the seeds in his barn then the maggots will devour them. Hence Jesus had said. "Do not accumulate treasures on Earth because they are perishable, but accumulate them in Heaven where they are eternal." In other words, do not give material possessions more importance than the spiritual ones, and know how to sacrifice the first for the second (See chapter 16, item 7 onwards).

Charity and fraternity are not decreed under law. If one or the other is not in the heart then selfishness will rule. Consequently it is the task of Spiritism to see that they both penetrate the heart of man.


9. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.

10. And in whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace be upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the Day of Judgement, than for that city (Matthew, 10: 9- 15).

11. In those days there was nothing unusual in these words which Jesus directed to His apostles, on commanding them to announce the Glad Tidings for the first time. They were in accordance with the patriarchal customs of the Orient, when the traveller was always made welcome in the tent. But then in those days travellers were very rare indeed. Among modern peoples the development of travel has created new customs. Those of ancient times are only conserved by very distant lands, where the great movement has not yet penetrated. If Jesus were to return today He could no longer tell His apostles to put themselves on the road without provisions.

Apart from their actual meaning, these words hold a very profound moral sense. In proffering them, Jesus was teaching His disciples to have confidence in Providence. What is more, by having nothing, they could not cause covetousness amongst those who received them. This was the way of distinguishing those who were selfish from those who were charitable. This is why He told them to: "Find out who is worthy of putting you up." or rather: who is human enough to clothe a traveller who has nothing with which to pay, as these are the ones who are worthy to receive your words and will be recognisable by their charity.

With regard to those who cared neither to receive them nor to listen to them, did He tell His disciples that they should curse them, that they should impose the teachings upon them, or that they should use violence and force so as to convert them? No, He simply told them to go away and seek others who were willing to listen.

Today Spiritism says the same thing to its followers. Do not violate any consciences. Do not force anyone to leave their faith in order to adopt yours. Do not excommunicate those who do not think as you do. Welcome all who come to join you, and leave in peace all those who are repelled by your ideas. Remind yourselves of the words of Christ. In other times the heavens were taken over by violence, but today they are taken over by mildness (See chapter 4, items 10 & 11).

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